Things to Ask Your Web Designer Before Signing a contract

There are some few questions everyone should ask their website developer before signing a contract with them. Today, we will be talking a look at these questions and their possible answers.

Will it be a custom design or a template site?
A custom design generally takes longer than modifying a pre-designed template. Clarify which option is included in your proposal to make sure you’re comfortable with the level of consultation and customization you’re paying for.

Will it look good on multiple devices and browsers?
According to more people use smart phones and tablets to view the internet than desktop computers. Make sure your estimate includes a responsive or adaptive template that adjusts to display well on multiple devices. Your site visitors use a variety of browsers to view your site, ask your designer which browsers the site optimized for. Also ask for which versions of the browsers are included. As the browsers update they support more progressive coding techniques. If you require a website that looks the same in Internet Explorer 8 as it does in Microsoft Edge (Internet Explorer’s replacement browser) you may be looking at a much different cost for developing the site.

What will you be responsible for (other than the bill)?
One of the most time consuming tasks when building a website can be writing the content and finding or taking the right photos to represent your company. Know who’s responsible for those tasks up front, when they’re due and to what standard they need to be completed. You should ask your web designer to clearly define what will be expected of you.

How will payments work?
Learn about how the website payments will work. Most designers ask for either half down and half upon completion or break the payments into thirds. If you’re being asked to pay for it all upfront that may be a red flag.

Are there monthly charges?
Ask about any monthly charges that may occur during or after the site is completed.

What happens if they don’t fulfill the contract?
In most contracts the payments made to the vendor are non-refundable. Though if your vendor doesn’t fulfill his or her end of the bargain you may want to negotiate a refund or at the very least not pay for the entire website upfront so you can decide not to make any more payments.
If you have done your part and your designer starts to miss deadlines, do not let it get out of hand. Be direct and revisit your signed contract. Worse case scenario, demand a refund and find another company.

Can you update the website on your own?
If you’ll be able to update the site on your own make sure they will give you a username and password to do so and ask that you are made an administrator for your site. Then if your relationship goes south you will have proper privileges to make all changes necessary to the site or hire someone else to do so. If you’re not sure how to work your site ask if training is included. Clarify what type of training is available, is it online, in person or printed guide. Also determine how long training is available without an additional charge and how many people can attend.

Who owns what?
If your vendor owns the site after it’s completed it’s difficult to switch. Be on the lookout for this especially when working with vendors who are only charging a low monthly rate for your site. This often indicates you’ll be using a proprietary software to create the site and there might not even be a way to move the site away from their service once it’s completed.

Hopefully this gives you some idea of what to ask potential design companies before signing the dotted line. For more information, feel free to use our live chat service and we will be happy to assist you.

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